I felt I had to write something about the QI Elves Word of the Day (19thC) – Smellfungus – someone who always manages to find fault.
I have often wondered what Twitter has to offer us mere mortals who gaze at the feed wondering what the bloody hell it is all about and this evening I almost got it! It’s about sharing knowledge or links to interesting stuff. Have I got that wrong? Probably, knowing me.
But someone tweeted about the word of the day and I latched on. And I learned how to retweet! Woohoo – goodness only knows who will ever see my ‘retweet’ but at least I’ve pressed all the buttons and found the right one. Things are looking up.
So, Smellfungus. Not sure why but all of a sudden I felt self-conscious. Am I a smellfungus? Am I getting dangerously close to being one? I have spent the last two or three weeks moaning incessantly about Christmas and New Year, just longing for the time when we can get over the period where uber-consumption is the order of the day. Literally the order of the day. Thou shalt spend ad nauseam before Christmas; thou shalt partake of ‘Black Friday’, ‘Dodgy Monday’ (or whatever); thou shalt spend ad nauseam after Christmas; thou shalt buy new furniture on four years interest free credit; thou shalt book your summer holiday AS WELL as all that which has gone before; thou shalt eat and drink yourself to a heart attack on highly processed ‘cook at the same temperature’ party food. And, of course, thou shalt watch all the same old, same old recycled crap that can be found on TV.
And yes, I get to the point where I don’t want to wish every stranger I meet ‘Happy Christmas’ just because they’ve wished the same on me. The same for New Year’s greetings. I wish that all these good folk would wish each other a Happy Day, any other day of the year, just because they have the power in them to make someone happy with a goodwill gesture. These same folk would quite probably ignore me walking my dogs in the back and beyond (believe me it does happen – even when I’d smile and say Good Morning) 364 days of the year. I just want everyone to see Christmas and New Years for what they are now – a seemingly obligatory march towards over consumption. And I’m sick of having it thrust down my throat from before December even starts.
If there is any religious connection left with this time of year, don’t just push it now – what’s the point of that? I feel quite sad when I hear of volunteers who come out at this time of year to help those who are on their own at Christmas. Those poor souls are on their own all year round and they will probably see Christmas as just another day anyway. Thank goodness for those wonderful people who do give their time every day of the year and, of course, thank goodness that there are people who want to give their time at Christmas. There should just be more emphasis on getting people to volunteer full stop. Or get families to remember that they have other family members who are alone most days of the year. What is wrong with people that they can simply leave relatives to fester alone? It does bug me that we’re all made to feel as though we aren’t loved if we spend Christmas alone. What a load of bull. Christmas has become one of the most difficult times of the year for so many families across the world. By default someone, somewhere, will be alone, or not with family, on Christmas day – it’s what satellite, multi-cellular families are all about now. There is little community left in many families nowadays. Someone always gets hurt, gets upset, on Christmas day. Where is the joy in that?
So, yes, I probably am a Christmas Smellfungus and it’s unlikely to get any better as the years knock on. It’s the only time of the year when I get highly irritable, ready to run away from home and keen to just get it all over and done with. And boy, do I get pissed off with those who say ‘Bah, humbug!’ at me. I do resist the temptation to explain why I feel thus.
And as for New Year’s greetings? I wish for everyone the time they need to build their dreams, the time they need to work towards their dreams and the time they need to then enjoy their dreams. I wish them joy in their own creativity and peace from the beauty around them.